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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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actions of the Russians and thek own Government,, but facts are facts,
and they stand out clearly." * Warsaw was fighting for her life and neither
the British nor the Russians were helping her. Appeals were made
throughout the world by the hundred. Scotland was the first to support
Warsaw's cause, then came the American and British Trade Union
Federations. Later the Premiers of South Africa, New Zealand and
Australia., raised their voices in the British Commonwealth, to be joined
by millions of individuals. The British Government saw the need to
place matters before the public. The Times published a resume of the
endeavours of the British Government and their attempts to help Wai saw.
The statement made a still deeper impression on the public when it
became clear that the losses reported in the R.A.F. were a direct result
of the Russian refusal to allow their air bases to be used for these
*Inthe Tribune (September 1st), G. Orwell, gave the following caustic comment
on the attitude of the British Left-wing press over the rising in Warsaw., but
omitted to include that section of the Conservatives who, led by The Times
adopted the same attitude.
" I want to protest," wrote Orwell, ec against the mean and cowardly attitude
adopted by the British press towards the recent rising in Warsaw.
" As soon as the news of the rising broke., the News Chronicle and kindred papers
adopted a markedly disapproving attitude. One was left with the general impres-
sion that the Poles deserved to have their bottoms smacked for doing what all the
Allied wirelesses had been urging them to do for years past, and that they would not
be given and did not deserve to be given any help from outside. A few papers
tentatively suggested that arms and supplies might be dropped by the Anglo-
Americans., a thousand miles away; no one, so far as I know, suggested that this
might be done by the Russians, perhaps twenty miles away. The New Statesman^
in its issue of August 18th, even went so far as to doubt whether appreciable help
could be given from the air in such circumstances. All or nearly all the papers of
the Left were full of blame for the e emigre 9 London Government which had
* prematurely' ordered its followers to rise when the Red Army was at the
gates . . .
" I cannot discuss here why it is that the British intelligentsia, with few excep-
tionsj have developed a nationalistic loyalty towards the U.S.S.R., and are dis-
honestly uncritical of its policies . . . But I would like to close with two considera-
tions which are worth thinking over.
*' First of all, a message to English Left-wing journalists and intellectuals
generally. Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for.
Don't imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking
propagandist of the Soviet regime, or any other regime, and then suddenly return to
mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.
" Secondly, a wider consideration. Nothing is more important in the world
to-day than Anglo-Russian friendship and co-operation^ and that will not be
attained without plain speaking. The best way to come to an agreement with a
foreign nation is not to refrain from criticising its policies, even to the extent of
leaving your own people in the dark about them. At present^ so slavish is the
attitude of nearly the whole British Press that ordinary people have very little idea
of what is happening, and may well be committed to policies which they will
repudiate in five years' time."
t Even that pro-Soviet paper* the News Chronicle, had been unable to restrain
from criticism of the Soviets' attitude and on September 10 wrote:
"As for the failure of the Russians to co-operate in sending supplies to the
Polish insurgents inside Warsaw, it was an ungenerous attitude which is not
understood here."